Today I was suddenly entrusted with delivering my 9 year old cousin (twice removed) to her play date at a friend’s house. She hadn’t had breakfast and the plan was to stop for a yogurt parfait at McD’s. I was mentally thinking of the best route for fast food on the way – these are roads I travel frequently.
Me: I think we will head toward the interstate and stop at the McDonald’s right near there. Ok?
Gracie: That’s fine.
Me: Is there anything else you’d like for breakfast? Is that all?
Gracie: Well, there is a Marathon gas station with a Dunkin’ Donuts right there and I really love their hash browns.
Me: So you are sure you are hungry enough for me to make an extra stop for hash browns?
Gracie: Yes, I’m pretty sure
I made it to the first stop without any trouble but on leaving I got in a lane that I wasn’t sure would lead to the hash browns.
Me: Oh, I think I’m in the wrong lane. I don’t know if I’ll be able to turn left again before the interstate.
Gracie: Yes, you can.
Me: I really don’t think there is another light to let me turn left.
Gracie: No there isn’t a light but there’s a place that you can wait in line and turn when there aren’t cars coming.
So you might not think this is a marvelous thing that a 9 year old should know where all the favorite fast food is – true it’s not. But how many know for certain the traffic patterns and how to navigate them when they have never been drivers? I didn’t know there was a left turn opportunity there, for cryin’ out loud! This is also the child that shows me all the short cuts through the neighborhood “the way Daddy goes”. I have been with teens and adults who couldn’t direct me to places they go to ALL THE TIME because they don’t pay attention when someone else is driving.
I’m just sayin’ I know who I want riding with me when I start to forget where I live.
And I also want to remember where this gas station is.